VIDEO: Cougar sighting reported in West Seattle

Watch the lower left of that enhanced security video and you’ll see what is reported to be a cougar (aka mountain lion), caught on camera near Westcrest Park in September. The video has just surfaced along with word of other suspected sightings – not on camera this time. We received the video and information via community naturalist Kersti Muul. She tracked down the video and the person who recorded it after first hearing about it earlier this week. After talking with him, she reports, “He has lived there for 40 years and has never seen anything like this. His house backs up to the greenbelt; a good travel route for the cougar.” She added in our email exchange, “I am assuming the cougar has moved on, which is good for all involved. It is my understanding that they don’t stay long when in urban areas. There were a few more sightings in the same area (Olsen Place SW/Westcrest Park/Roxbury) but none recently. To my knowledge, this is the FIRST confirmed Mountain Lion sighting in West Seattle.” Not the first in the city, though – for example, our friends at My Ballard noted one in Discovery Park a year ago. Find out more about mountain lions via the official state Fish and Wildlife Department page about them.

50 Replies to "VIDEO: Cougar sighting reported in West Seattle"

  • Jay January 5, 2022 (10:54 am)

    In the past 100 years in the entire United States there have only been 126 attacks and 27 fatalities. Cougars are more common than you think and they prefer to avoid people. If you spend much time in the woods you’ve probably been watched by a cougar without knowing it. Attacks are incredibly rare.

    • Teresa January 6, 2022 (10:25 am)

      Thank you for the reassurance. 

    • Bob January 8, 2022 (6:06 am)

      Hello Jay, the statistics you quoted are for the US and Canada.  British Columbia is a hot spot, I believe its record is six fatalities from cougars in the period starting in 1890 (130 years). For the US only, 15 deaths from cougar attacks is the generally accepted number. As you note, attacks are rare. 

  • Lina January 5, 2022 (11:19 am)

    That is really cool!

  • West Seattlite January 5, 2022 (11:53 am)


  • Eric1 January 5, 2022 (12:01 pm)

    Well that beats a coyote sighting…  Too bad our greenbelts aren’t what they are supposed to be anymore.

  • Jort January 5, 2022 (12:14 pm)

    Beautiful! I, for one, welcome our new cougar neighbor. Perhaps we’ve finally found the solution to our area’s out-of-control rabbit infestation. Eat up, cougar! Bite!

    • K to the F January 5, 2022 (2:08 pm)

      Agreed! Welcome and please send our new cougar friend over here near The Mount to enjoy some bunny snacks!

  • TM January 5, 2022 (12:34 pm)

    That’s pretty awesome. Those cats like to keep a low profile (luckily for all), but incredible creatures. 

  • Also John January 5, 2022 (12:50 pm)

    Big kitty cat….

  • Max January 5, 2022 (1:39 pm)

    Wow–the traffic noise in the background totally gives this a Lynchian feel.

    • BlackLodge January 5, 2022 (5:57 pm)

      “Ethereal whooshing”

  • Lucy January 5, 2022 (1:47 pm)

    Yikes!   Keep your little kitties inside!

  • Cat January 5, 2022 (2:58 pm)

    OMG! MEOW!

  • Coug January 5, 2022 (3:37 pm)

    Go COUGS!!

    • Judi Trotter January 7, 2022 (1:05 pm)

      I noticed that That Butch the Cougar played football in the Tony Tiger Bowl over holidays!

  • Mj January 5, 2022 (4:22 pm)

    Are you sure it’s not the coug mobile I see parked on Admiral?  Kidding aside this is kinda kewl.  Keep pet’s inside.

  • Flo B January 5, 2022 (4:49 pm)

    Equal timing here. Waiting for video of a husky sighting.

  • justme January 5, 2022 (6:39 pm)

    Maybe it’s a Caracal?

  • Kane January 5, 2022 (6:49 pm)

    Over development. Not good for domestic pets. Pretty sad when it needs look food with in city limits. Hopefully it finds it way back.☹️

  • LivesInWS January 5, 2022 (8:02 pm)

    “Confirmed” ? How and by who? Would be good to have a cougar specialist verify this, if possible.

    • Kersti Muul January 6, 2022 (9:17 am)

      For starters, I have confirmed it. As have many others. It is verified 100%   It is quite obvious at first glance. Along with head and shape body length tail length and the gait.It’s not a question This is a confirmed sighting

      • dana eberhardt January 6, 2022 (10:14 am)

        In the second half of the video, its tail is curved up like a curly tail dog?PS im not disputing your community wildlife professional opinion

      • Josh Rosenau January 7, 2022 (11:50 am)

        Yup. So amazing what we discover about cougars thanks to these cameras. 

  • mehud7 January 5, 2022 (8:28 pm)

    It sure does look like a cat (the neighbor’s) walking along the top of the fence!  (thanks for the tip, Yorkie Mike).  Watch the video again with this idea in mind.

    • Kersti Muul January 6, 2022 (9:18 am)

      This idea is roaming around and is baseless. There’s no fence there for starters. If there was, the angle of the ring camera would place that fence flush with the ground.I have viewed the property as well as confirmed that this is a mountain lion. 

  • Ly January 5, 2022 (8:46 pm)

    Remember when a young cougar was caught in Discovery Park in 2009? I did an evening walk through that park and then read a week later they caught a cougar. Kind of gave me goosebumps 😳

  • anonyme January 6, 2022 (6:35 am)

    It does move like a big cat, but something is off with the tail. 

    • Kersti Muul January 6, 2022 (11:37 am)

      This is a mountain lion.

  • Kersti Muul January 6, 2022 (9:47 am)

    This is a young mountain lion in good body condition. 

  • Chuck Jacobs January 6, 2022 (10:11 am)

    Not the first time a cougar has been sighted near West Seattle:

  • anonyme January 6, 2022 (11:18 am)

    It’s too bad the snow had already melted.  It would have been so cool to track the cougar!  Can you imagine finding tracks like those in your yard?  One of my amusements during the recent snow was to go out in the morning and see who’d been there and what they’d been up to.  Squirrels, cats, rats, all kinds of birds.  I also found what looked like dog prints, which didn’t make sense as my yard is fully fenced and gated.  It may have been a coyote, but I also found massive raccoon prints – biggest I’ve ever seen.  So it might have been that.  No cougars, though.  I’m pretty familiar with their tracks, whenever I stay with a friend who lives in rural New Mexico we often see paw prints around the house and stable area.  Yikers.

    • WSB January 6, 2022 (11:37 am)

      Please note, as mentioned in the story, this video is from September.

    • Kersti Muul January 6, 2022 (1:28 pm)

      Often times when track are “huge” it’s the snow melting and the track expands

      • anonyme January 7, 2022 (6:30 am)

        Yes, I’m familiar with that phenomenon, but this was freshly fallen (still falling) snow and tracks that were new overnight.  Some of the older ones had ‘expanded’.  There are some pretty beefy raccoons out there…!  There were also some prints that appeared to be opossum; I’ve seen her around.  They’re all welcome – although I wish the rats would get the heck outta my attic. 

        • Kersti Muul January 7, 2022 (1:47 pm)

          I did this when I got home from Christmas travel. It’s a lot of fun. Found all of my herd’s prints; squirrels, raccoons, possums, birds, cats, dogs. We have a family of five racoons. Mom is pretty hefty

  • drahcir61 January 6, 2022 (11:54 am)

    Prowling for, wait for it, wait … …  CATalytic converters!  I’ll put out some Temptations. 

  • 1994 January 6, 2022 (8:59 pm)

    Someone needs to find a pile of cougar poop for analysis or provide a better photo for verification that is an image of a cougar. The image looks like an aged large dog, walking slow, with light colored coat.

    • Kersti Muul January 7, 2022 (1:46 pm)

      Perhaps you missed that this is confirmed? Nobody needs to provide anything else. It’s beyond obvious to those of us who confirmed it.

  • John January 7, 2022 (4:29 am)

    I have to wonder if some psycho is keeping it illegally as a pet or was transporting one illegally somewhere. We’re quite a ways from any deep forest I doubt it would have swam over here I know on rare occasions some have ended up swimming over to Vashon Island but I doubt they could make it to West Seattle and again that goes back to my point of they’re not being much in the way of woods around here. I don’t really know of any deer even being in the West Seattle area

    • Kersti Muul January 7, 2022 (1:45 pm)

      There are deer occasionally in west Seattle. Including in camp long. I’ve responded to two deceased ones this year.This cougar was probably travelling along the greenbelt, probably came from the east side. And hopefully went back that way. I doubt it swam as it would have been in a different area. Males can travel over 150 miles looking for territory, and this is a young one.

  • Steve January 7, 2022 (7:09 pm)

    Just get a Husky, you’ll be fine.

  • Bob January 8, 2022 (6:11 am)

  • Bob January 9, 2022 (4:33 pm)

    I’ll go with Felis catus (domestic cat) walking the fence-top, stepping over a post. I sent the video link off to a PhD cougar researcher who has collared hundreds of cougars. He couldn’t find a puma in the West Seattle video. There’s a saying that “in 85% of mountain lion sightings, no mountain lion is involved.” The posted West Seattle video is confirmation of the aphorism. The cougar in the video here, from Pine Lake is about 30″ at the shoulder–we measured the truck’s bumper above grade. I have a full-size cougar cutout to place in locations where a photo was taken to give an idea of scale of a mystery animal. The West Seattle cat would not make the cut.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul January 12, 2022 (6:07 pm)

      The cat is on the ground, not walking along the fence. 

      • Kersti Muul January 12, 2022 (8:05 pm)

        Cat is *not* on the ground, sorry typos. 

  • Bob January 9, 2022 (4:38 pm)

    The Pine Lake cougar video did not persist when I added the photo. Here is the video. This is easily confirmed as a cougar.

  • factsmatter January 10, 2022 (5:17 pm)

    Thanks for following up on this, Bob. Refreshing to hear the opinion of an actual cougar researcher. I hope the post is updated with this information too.

  • 1994 January 10, 2022 (9:51 pm)

    I sent the Youtube link to a cougar research foundation, The Cougar Fund. Their response is they can’t confirm this is an image of a cougar and it is just too hard to say what kind of animal is in the video.  

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